• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
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  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Inanda Heritage Route – A Must Do

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To explore a wealth of information on the rich history and culture of Durban’s Inanda, so little of which has been recorded in the annuls of history, take the Inanda Heritage Route.

Just outside Durban is a generous, green valley through which sprawls the township of the same name. Inanda (eNanda), which is isiZulu for ‘a pleasant place’, is also known as the Freedom Valley, and for good reason.

It is where the seeds of the country’s liberation were planted; a valley imbued in history that explores both sung and unsung African heroes.

Inanda is where Gandhi built his Phoenix settlement, it is the spiritual home of the Shembe religion, it is the birthplace of John Dube – the ANC’s first president – and it is where Nelson Mandela cast his vote in the country’s first democratic elections.

The Inanda Heritage Route links Gandhi’s passive resistance movement (satyagraha) with the philosophy that shaped John Dube’s Ohlange Institute, the prophet Isaiah Shembe, and the community of the Inanda Seminary to present an historical perspective on Durban’s role in the country’s history that is at once spellbinding and fascinating… Continued

Monday, 23 May 2016

20 Best Secret Scenic Spots In KwaZulu Natal

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The next in our series on where to find the ‘secret’ spots not normally advertised by travel brochures for perfect scenic #instagram pics, this one explores KwaZulu Natal.

KwaZulu Natal is only just coming of age. Durban, its capital, was voted one of the top 10 of the 52 Places to Go in 2015 by the New York Times, and dubbed by CNN as ‘the coolest city in South Africa you’ve never seen’. It then ranked even higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg on Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living survey.

But other than the province’s beaches, the Midlands, and the Drakensberg where do you go for incredible scenic moments?

Here are 20 secret scenic spots in KwaZulu Natal… Continued

Friday, 20 May 2016

20 Best Secret Scenic Spots in Eastern Cape

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For those #travellers after photo moments worth sharing on Instagram and other social media, look no further than these #highlights of the Eastern Cape.

We’ve put together a list of beautiful spaces, extraordinary spots, and remote places to share with the rest of the world.

For your perfect #travel moments head to these 20 secret scenic spots in Eastern CapeContinued

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Win a two night stay at the Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa

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This month’s SA-Venues.com competition gives our readers a chance to win a weekend getaway at the Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa only 70 minutes away from Pretoria Accommodation in the town of Modimolle.

Nestled in the heart of the bushveld within the Waterberg mountain range, lies the tranquil setting of the 4-star Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa. Guests wanting to escape the madness of modern life will be delighted by lush tropical gardens, a trickling waterfall and leafy stone pathways with luxurious pampering in 49 en-suite rooms… Continued

Wednesday, 18 May 2016
South African Hiking Trails

The Leopard’s Kloof Trail and Other Magical Discoveries at Harold Porter Garden

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Harold Porter Garden is one of the country’s national botanical gardens. It’s only about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, just off Clarence Drive at Betty’s Bay, and well worth the drive.

It’s also where sea, mountains and fynbos meet. The garden, which rests on the slope of the mountains within the Kogelberg Biosphere reserve, overlooks the ocean from almost every vantage point, and the gardens are awash with fynbos, irises, daisies and orchids, including the famous red disa.

There is nothing more magical than the Cape in autumn.

The permanent ambient light means that everything is more striking. You don’t need sunglasses, for a start, the constant heat haze of summer gives way to a delicate blue sky, and vivid vistas, and you no longer gasp for shade but are grateful for the gentle presence of the sun. Continued

Monday, 16 May 2016

Visit these 5 Popular Kramats in Cape Town – The Circle Of Kramats

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Kramats are not mosques. They’re burial places, or shrines, of the saints or holy men of Islam. They’re also open to anyone who wishes to visit them.

In Cape Town, the city with the largest Muslim community in South Africa, there are 30 or so kramats that form part of the city’s landscape.

Four of them lie on Signal Hill, whilst others lie in areas as far reaching as Bainskloof, Caledon and Rawsonville. That they are often confused with mosques is understandable.

Kramats (mazars in Arabic) look like miniature mosques. Most of them are humble white buildings crested with domes (some of them fairly ornate), scented with incense, resting quietly on hillsides. There is even one on Lion’s Head (although my research turned up very little information about it). Continued

Monday, 9 May 2016

Cape Towns City Wine Route

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You don’t have to drive far to visit some of the oldest wine estates in the country when in Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies in the midst of the southern suburbs, 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s City Bowl. And it holds everything you’ve come to expect from a wine route – Cape Fold Mountains, vineyards, oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch manors, excellent food and superior wines.

One of the oldest suburbs of the city, Constantia may be small by comparison with Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, but it supports 11 estates, all of whom produce superlative wines. Any visit to Cape Town is incomplete without a drive through the valley and at least a couple of stops to taste wine. You can also take the Purple Wine Tour on the hop-on-hop-off bus(it stops at three wine estates).

We share 8 of Cape Town’s city wine estates with you… Continued

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

20 Best Secret Scenic Spots In Mpumalanga

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It is not difficult to find exceptional scenic spots in Mpumalanga. This province is riddled with picture card moments designed to keep Instagrammers happy. The Blyde River Canyon, the province’s main draw card, is not its only geographical wonder. Others include: Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a long list of waterfalls, the Three Rondawels, and God’s Window.

But if you want to avoid the tourists, particularly in summer, then here are 20 secret scenic spots in Mpumalanga for those #instagram_sa #thisissouthafrica moments… Continued

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Best Events In Cape Town & Surrounds This Autumn and Winter

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Autumn, and early winter, in Cape Town is the city’s secret season. It’s the time of year the city is at its best – the sun just warm enough to seek out a patch of sun in which to bask, yet a mackintosh is a pre-requisite to surviving the day (brollies, if you’re interested, are a waste of time given the winds that can accompany any rain in Cape Town).

Most of all it’s the time of year when leaving the house requires a major incentive. We’ve lined up a series of motivators to help get your nose out of a book, your butt off the couch and your body out of doors.

Here are the best events in Cape Town and the surrounds this autumn and winter…

Continued

Monday, 25 April 2016

8 Amazing Treehouse Stays In South Africa – Sleep Under African Skies

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Treehouses are no longer mere forts erected in trees for children, so that they can scramble up high and get lost in imaginary worlds in amongst the branches. Now the leafy platforms of our youth have hit the big time. There are hotels in trees, treetop hideaways, and treehouses that promise solitude and seclusion in inspiring forest locations, for those unafraid of heights.

Hotels are no longer ‘just’ hotels. To out market the next establishment they have had to do more than place a roof over your head. Going out on a limb, the treehouse trend has resulted in places like Les Cabanes du Bois Landry, in France; TreeHouse Point, in America; and Cabanes als Arbres, in Spain.

Not to be outdone South Africa has its fair share of treehouse stays around the country, but particularly in some of our top game parks.

We’ve selected 8 amazing treehouse stays in South Africa for you to choose from … Continued

Friday, 22 April 2016

12 Top Routes Of The Eastern Cape – Great Ways To Explore The Province

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Despite its reputation as poorer cousin to the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape includes several of the country’s greatest adventure destinations, the bulk of the Great Karoo, the Wild Coast, the homelands of the Xhosa people, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, and some of South Africa’s greatest hiking trails.

What’s more its climate is mild throughout the year with a Sunshine Coast that promises good surfing and kilometres of beach. Inland a collection of stunning landscapes, plenty of private and national wildlife reserves, and farms producing chicory, tomatoes, deciduous fruit and citrus beckons. Whilst the Eastern Cape’s very own Highlands shelter a series of towns that promise snow in winter and no fewer than 8 mountain passes to explore.

Eastern Cape Tourism has developed a number of routes to simplify travelling the adventure province. Here are 12 of them… Continued

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

20 Best Secret Scenic Spots In The Northern Cape

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When it comes to recharging, re-connecting and reclaiming one’s sense of self, the Northern Cape’s isolation and beauty is hard to beat.

It is one of the biggest provinces in the country, known for its desert landscapes, wild spring flowers and wildlife. But it is not as well navigated by travel books and guides as the Western Cape.

We help you find the best secret scenic spots in the Northern Cape for your travel Instagram pics … Continued

Monday, 18 April 2016

Top Things To Do In The Winelands That Aren’t About Wine

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The traditional Cape WinelandsFranschhoek, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Somerset West – are within a stone’s throw of Cape Town. These earliest colonial settlements each come with their own wine route, making it easy to travel from one farm to the next sampling wines.

Cape Dutch architecture (do you know the difference between a Holbol gable and a Neoclassical gable) dominates the landscape, whilst the beauty of the countryside is inspiring (all those mountains!), and the cuisine of this core of the wine-producing areas is difficult to beat (award-winning chefs and restaurants).

And that’s before you’ve sampled the wine from over 400 wine estates.

Overwhelmed?

There is another side to the Winelands that has nothing to do with wine and everything to do with exploring the area’s beauty and history. Here are a few alternatives to wine tasting to take you off the tourist track… Continued

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Kirstenbosch

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There isn’t a visitor to Cape Town who doesn’t visit Kirstenbosch. The 52 800 square kilometre botanical garden is up there with the best in the world, particularly since the introduction of the ‘Boomslang‘ (officially named the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa in 2015).

Kirstenbosch grows no fewer than 9 000 of Southern Africa’s 22 000 plant species in different types of garden – a fragrance garden, a Braille trail through the forest, a garden for useful plants, a protea garden, Erica garden, a sculpture garden. There are even dinosaurs and gorillas (though not in the same part of the garden) and a still-standing section of the original wild almond hedge planted by Jan van Riebeeck.

The garden’s position at the eastern foot of Table Mountain, its lawns and easy access to hiking, make it accessible not only to visitors but locals too, many of whom have annual membership. There are also regular exhibits of stone sculptures and a series of outdoor summer concerts on Sunday evenings.

Despite all of these attractions, there are a few things about Kirstenbosch that you may not know… Continued

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Win a 2 Night Getaway in Franschhoek (Closed)

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The Winner of this Weekend Getaway to the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel is Karyn Clainos. We hope you enjoy your stay!

WIN a 2-night stay at the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel nestled in the Food and wine capital of South Africa. The Franschhoek Boutique Hotel which can be found at the base of the Franschhoek mountains, is an eclectic mix of old world sophistication and contemporary design. The hotel offers high end hotel styled service with the comfort of country living… Continued